Spartan WOD for Tuesday, 11.20.12 brought to you by Gaspari Nutrition

By James Villepique CSCS

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.

—Abraham Lincoln

 

This week’s WOD is going to be something different for all those Spartans out that that supplement their outdoor conditioning inside the gym. I’m going to throw a workout at you that’s actually rare to find anymore, despite the facts that isometric training is a great plateau buster, and rewards those who do it regularly with big gains in strength.

The first thing many Spartans new to isometric contractions realize when they’re first exposed to them, is that they’re metabolism goes through the roof and their heart rate shoots up but they’re not actually moving any muscles!

Typical rep based exercises take time to tap into all of your muscle tissue, but isometric contractions cause the brain to engage them all at once. We’re going to hit every part of the body, and I mean every. Because when you think about it, there is a ton of isometric type challenges in obstacle racing. Here’s what we’re going to do:

 

-  Isometric Seated Rows
-  Isometric Bench Press
-  Isometric Core Exercise
-  Isometric Pull Ups
-  Isometric Squats

While I only listed one core exercise, in truth, most isometric contractions incorporate tons of musculature, including the core, so they’re actually all going to tax your abdomen. The work to rest ratio is pretty simple with these.

 6 x 10 second holds each = 5 Minutes Isometric Contraction

30 Seconds of rest between each rep

2 Minutes rest between each exercise

 

Let’s Do This…

1) Isometric Seated Rows

What you’re shooting for here is to be able to maintain perfect form while holding onto really heavy weight. This means your back is up straight, core engaged, head up tall, shoulders back and squared, and knees bent.

Furthermore, at no time during this exercise should your knees lock out.

Experiment with the weight first, and find something that’s challenging to hold onto for 10 seconds, but not so heavy that you might lose grip and smash the entire stack of weights. Push it though, find a weight that’s on the edge, and that will cause your brain to tap into everything you got, from your hands, through your entire body.

The type of handle that works best is one that keeps the hands closer together rather than really wide.

Once the weight is where it should be, grab the handle, lean back to get the weight up, and then slowly come forward until you are in a good kinetic posture. Hold for ten seconds, then set the weight back down, rest, and repeat.

2) Isometric Bench Press

This shouldn’t be done without assistance. Even if you’re a complete loner, there’s bound to be someone in the gym that will spot you for a couple minutes. I would! Chances are this will be something new, and they may even want to try it themselves.

Here is why you need help: you need to have more on the barbell than you can physically bench even once. Yes. For a minutes worth of time, you will be telling your body that you need it to adapt and become stronger than it currently is.

Make absolutely sure the other person has both hands on the bar 100% of the time. But don’t go crazy, it just needs to be more than you can bench press, not 500 lbs.

They should help you lift off, and then lower the bar a few inches so that your elbows aren’t locked out. Now you just hold for a solid ten count. As you approach the sixth rep, it’s going to be hard, and as long as you’re ever so slowly lowering the bar, that’s fine.

If it gets to the point where the weight is likely to drop down quickly because of muscle fatigue or failure, then stop and lighten the load.

3) Isometric Core Exercise

You can do these either with your hands alone, on some bars, rings, or with your hands up on some dumbbells. I like to use the dip machine, but facing out. As you can see by the picture, your hands should be directly below your butt around your hips.

You’ll know what muscles it’s going to take within seconds. This is one of those core workouts that show you what you’re made of. Remember to breathe! Once you master the ability to fully flex your abdomen and breathe from the diaphragm, you’re in good shape.

It’s ok to lock out your elbows on this one. It becomes challenging when you begin to mess around with the leverage your hip position creates. For example if you shift forward, and have a completely straight back vs. a quasi crunch pose.

4) Isometric Pull Ups

I’d like you to mix it up between over and underhand positions with these. The idea is to get your chin above the bar, and hold. When I first started these I was actually shocked by how much my body shook. I’m trying to think, and I don’t know of a single upper body muscle that isn’t fully engaged.

Once you master these guys and can sit up there like that for a while before feeling any real tension, begin messing around with your lower body. As you add movement, things will pick up intensity. Why not add in a mid-air L-sit position?

These are a great first stepping stone on the way to solid regular pull-ups and muscle ups.

5) Isometric Squats

I advise you to use the squat cage with safety measures in place. You’re only going to go down a little bit and then hold. It’s fine not to go back up and put it on the pegs, just slowly lower it onto the safety bar and back away.

I looked all over for a better picture but couldn’t find one. So picture yourself in the squat cage and only go about as low as you see there. You should pick a weight that is very challenging to hold, but not so heavy you can’t.

Boom, the second you engage every strand is working and tensed. You’ll get the same amount of metabolic work done as you would if you did three sets of ten reps with a more typical weight.

Keep Going!

James Villepigue CSCS

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Spartan WOD for Monday, 11.12.12

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.

― Helen Keller

Spartan Beginner WOD (3 of 4)

Warm-up:

Breathing and Stretching

Run 5-10 minutes

Main set:

10 Push-ups

10 Body weight squats

10 Burpees

10 Crunches

Repeat 3x.  If you can’t do 10 reps straight, break them into into 2 sets of 5.

Run 2 miles.  Run/walk is fine second mile.

Cool down:

Stretch

For our more advanced athletes, take this as an opportunity to have a recovery day.

If you were unable to finish this Spartan WOD, don’t stress.  Try this workout again next week, same place, same time—or try this slightly easier version.  The key is to do what you can of each WOD, they are scalable so you can simply cut them in ½ or into 1/3rds.

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Spartan WOD for Sunday, 11.11.12:  Street Team WOD -  Larry Jannotti

By Larry Jannotti

Street Team Member

This is an intense workout!  Beginners be sure to cut the volume down by ½ or even 1/3 if needed. The key factor is that you stand up to the million reasons chirping in your head to skip this Spartan WOD, and then, in spite of them, give it everything you got!  5% of a Spartan WOD is an infinite amount better than doing nothing. —Jason J

Don’t wish it were easier. Wish you were better.

—Jim Rohn

 

1-3 Rounds of:

800m Run

50 Air Squats

50 Push Ups

800m Run

50 Lunges

50 Pull Ups

400m Run 25

Air Squats 25

Push Ups

400m Run

25 Lunges

25 Pull Ups

 

Name:  Larry Jannotti

Location: HENDERSON, NV

Spartan Bio Completed SoCal Super Spartan 2012: Competitive Heat Finish Time 02:29:19 Age Group 9/39 Male Division 146/362 Overall 159/444

Colorado Military Spartan Sprint 2012: Competitive Heat Finish Time 01:34:44 Age Group 8/19 Male Division 129/213 Overall 146/283

Utah Spartan Beast 2012: Competitive Heat Finish Time 2:39:54 Age Group 21/31 Male Division 124/219 Overall 148/255

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Spartan WOD for Thursday, 11.8.12

by Jason Jaksetic

 

Realists do not fear the results of their study.
—Fyodor Dostoevsky

How fast can you run a mile?  Don’t be afraid to test yourself—find out.

Warm-up (a must in this WOD):

Spartan breathing and stretching

Dynamic Warm-up including:

Jumping Jacks

Seal Jacks

High Knee Drills

Burpees

 

1-2 mile run with 4-6 short accelerations

 

Main set:

1-mile time trial

 

Cool Down:

Jog 800 meters.

 

 

Commit to tomorrow’s WOD by sharing your goal time in the comments section.

Register.  Train.  Race.  See the difference.

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Spartan WOD for Wednesday, 11.7.12

By Jason Jaksetic and Robert DeCillis

Strength:  3  Endurance:  3  Speed:  4

Last week we stressed the importance of being able to move well in a Spartan Race.  You need to be flexible, strong, and fast, regardless of where you find your body and regardless of what ways you are forced to move.

Ground mobility work is essential if you want to reduce the likelihood of injury and improve the mobility of the joints that you will use in an obstacle race.  If you know you are going to be on the ground crawling and rolling around in the mud then you should prepare for it in training.   There are many types of mobility drills that will help you accomplish this.  This week try some animal movements, too.

Spartan Mobility/Speed Workout (2 of 4)

 

Breathing and Stretching

Dynamic Warm-up

Ground Work

  1. Fire Hydrant 3 sets 10 reps
  2. Alternating Arm and Leg Raise 3 sets 10reps
  3. Straight Leg Fire Hydrant 3 sets 10 reps
  4. Prone Knee Raise 3 sets 10 reps
  5. Double leg Bridge 3 sets 10reps

Animal Movements

1.   Crab Walk 2 sets 20 yards

  1. Bear Crawl 2 sets 20yards
  2. Tiger Crawl 2 sets 20 yards
  3. Frog Hop 2 sets 20 yards
  4. Alligator Crawl 2 sets 20 yards

 

Run 1-2 miles

 

Speed Work:

4 x 400 meters

6 x 200 meters

8 x 100 meters

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Spartan WOD for Tuesday, 11.6.12 brought to you by Gaspari Nutrition

~By James Villepique CSCS

You’ve decimated one half of a 4 week progressive fitness orientated and periodized training program. It’s time to add some heat, ask for extra endurance, and communicate to the body that a new adaptation is required. This week’s WOD is adding in time constraints, oh yeah, we went there. Here is what things looked like last week:

Week 2 Periodized WOD

-  Jog 1 Half Mile

Lower Body Agility Exercise x 7

1 min rest

-  Jog 1 Quarter Mile

Alternating Split Squats w/ Jump x 12

1 min rest

-  Jog 1 Half Mile

2 Pushups + Burpees to Tuck Jumps x 15

1 min rest

-  Jog 1 Quarter Mile

Full-Body Agility Square x 8

1 Min Rest

Changes

-1 min rest
+1/2 Mile
+7 Reps to Agility Drills
+30 Pushups

Last week we spoke about implementing visualization techniques to enhance and elevate performance, especially when things get rough and the mind begs us to call it quits. As you’ll see, we’ve added another half mile to the WOD, and added a time constraint of 8-12 minutes on it.

In America at this point, an 8-12 minute mile is asking a lot, but not when it comes to Spartans. Stretch well, prepare, bring your mind to the field, and make pacing a priority. Here is what this week’s WOD looks like, including the overall changes to the program so far:

Week 3 Periodized WOD

-  Jog 1 Half Mile (4-6Min Time)

Lower Body Agility Exercise x 12

50 Sec Rest

-  Jog 1 Half Mile

Alternating Split Squats w/ Jump x 15

1 Min Rest

-  Jog 1 Half Mile (4-6Min Time)

2 Pushups + Burpees to Tuck Jumps x 15

50 Sec Rest

-  Jog 1 Quarter Mile

Full-Body Agility Square x 10

1 Min Rest

Change

- 20 Seconds Rest
+1/2 Mile
+ 10 Reps to Agility Drills
Added Time Constraints to 1 Mile
-1min 20sec Rest
+1 Mile
+17 Reps to Agility Drills
+30 Pushups
+Time Constraints to 1 Mile

Overall Changes

-1min 20sec Rest
+1 Mile
+17 Reps to Agility Drills
+30 Pushups
+Time Constraints to 1 Mile

Ideally the jogging should begin to feel like a cool down period between energy expensive exercises. That last quarter mile should be producing a slight adrenaline burst, and the minor decrease in rest should have left its mark.

Next week the rest periods will change again, and there will be more periodization for the final stretch.

I’ll briefly go over the different stations of the circuit again, but by now you should know them pretty well.

Prepare Yourself…

Jogging

Along with soreness in the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles in the calf, joggers can begin to feel soreness in their ankles, especially around the Achilles tendon. If you begin to feel this, then rest and recuperate. Talk to your doctor if the soreness worsens, you see swelling, or it lasts for more than four days.

Adequate recovery, tying your shoelaces tight enough, and wearing appropriate footwear can all help guard against this. Make sure to stretch, breathe correctly and deliberately, and get sufficient micro and macro nutrients before/after.

Lower Body Agility Drills

As you get used to these, again, pay attention to your ankles. The jogging, shuffling, and scooting really puts the pressure on the joint capsules, and they should give you an appreciation for them!

It’s easy to forget about them in the modern American lifestyle, but in these WODs and on the obstacle course, they are absolutely crucial.

If someone suffers an ankle injury in post apocalyptic movies, what does the audience do? They sigh, because that person is a goner! Focus on what you’re doing, and avoid injury.

Alternating Split Squats with Jump

Why is jumping in general such a huge calorie burner? Jump roping burns around 700 calories an hour, and that’s more than half a pound of fat. You’re engaging your calves, shoulders, quads, arms, and all else, and then pitting them against gravity.

This exercise should give you more of an appreciation for balance training. Each time you awkwardly lean to the side, lose your footing, or come down in a dangerous fashion, imagine doing so while the clock is ticking during a race.

Pushup Burpees to Tuck Jump

Why does every military make its soldiers do tons of burpees, why are they in obstacle courses, and why do athletes get extremely used to them? What is so special about the burpee?

Well, for starters you enter into different planes of motion, have to coordinate the upper and lower body, and when you add in jumps and pushups, they become a full-body workout that expends energy and kick starts the metabolism. If you do them quickly enough, they’re probably one of the most difficult kinds of cardio ever.

Full-Body Agility Drills

How about the wrists? Excessive jogging can bring your ankles to life in ways that aren’t so pleasurable. Well, as you get used to the bear-crawl like movements, don’t take your wrists for granted.

Be precise in your movements, and because they won’t be timed, there is absolutely no reason to be quick about it. Take your time, and act deliberately, focusing and paying close attention to what kind of language your wrist and hand joints are speaking.

 

Keep Going!

James Villepigue

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Spartan WOD for Monday, 11.5.12

 

Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another.
-Walter Elliott

 

Spartan Beginner WOD (2 of 4)

 

Warm-up:

Breathing and Stretching

Run 5-10 minutes

 

Main Set:

10 Push-ups

10 Body weight squats

10 Burpees

10 Crunches

(Repeat 2 more times)

Run 1 mile

 

Cool Down:

Stretch

For our more advanced athletes, take this as an opportunity to have a recovery day.

Remember this blog by elite racer Andi Hardy about using Spartan WODs as a newb?

 

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Spartan WOD for Sunday, 11.4.12

By Joe De Sena

Strength comes from your core-so why aren’t you working it?

Hot Gates

Strength:  5  Endurance:  4  Speed:  2
Warmup:

Spartan Breathing and Stretching

 

Main set:
100 Jumping Jacks
200 single leg crunches
100 straight leg crunches
50 straight leg side to side
100 (50 a side plank brazilian kick)
100 back straight leg raises while in downward dog
100 standing side kicks
100 fast jumps jump in air knees trying to touch chest
100 upside down pushups or just stay there for a total of 3 minutes
100 pull-ups
100 hanging leg raises
3 mile slow run
5 minute plank

 

Cool down:

Stretch

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Spartan WOD for Saturday, 11.3.12

By Jason Jaksetic

 

We can’t plan life.  All we can do is be available for it.

—Lauryn Hill

Strength:  4  Endurance:  3  Speed:  3

Exercising keeps you ready for whatever may confront you.  It’s all about persistence in the face of adversity.  Fitness is both physical and mental in nature.  Training is about systematically accomplishing objectives that you once held as beyond your capabilities.

How did Spartan develop the Spartan Pancake at HQ?  There were all these sandbags laying around after hurricane Irene.  Not knowing what to do with them, we started lugging them around on our mountain trail runs.

The results have been remarkable.

Get outside and run with a sandbag.

The key word for this Spartan WOD is HUSTLE.

Maybe you have some serious storm clean-up?  Forget the sandbag and start running to an hurricane impacted friend’s home or business, roll up your sleeves and get to work! Keep your heart rate up. 2 hours minimum!

Did you know that Spartan Race’s FREE eBook contains not only the definitive history of Obstacle Racing, but ialso has training programs for each Spartan distance.  Whether you are readying for a Spartan Sprint or an Ultra Beast, be sure to check out the workout programs provided by Dr. Jeff Godin Ph.D., CSCS of Spartan Coaching to get you into peak condition for a Spartan Race near you.

 

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By Jason Jaksetic

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
― Leonardo Da Vinci

Strength:  4  Endurance:  4  Speed:  2

To all those affected by Sandy: hang in there, stay strong!   If able, lend a hand to a Spartan in need.  If stuck indoors and feeling restless, this Spartan WOD is for any and everyone who wants to get back the core elements of fitness regardless of current situations.  This Cabin Fever workout can be completed anywhere, all you need is 6 square feet of space.

Spartan is no stranger to hurricanes- Hurricane Irene nearly destroyed our HQ town of Pittsfield, VT.  It’s how our infamous Hurricane Heat was born.  (Here is a great example of a Hurricane Heat Workout, by the way.)

Please visit the Red Cross website or text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief.

 

Cabin Fever

 

Warm-up:

Jump rope 15 minutes

 

Main Set:

 

1 minute of burpees

30 seconds rest

 

1 minute of jumping lunges

30 seconds rest

 

1 minute plank

30 second rest

(repeat 3-10 times)

Cool Down:

Stretch

 

 

Did you know that Spartan Race’s FREE eBook contains not only the definitive history of Obstacle Racing, but ialso has training programs for each Spartan distance.  Whether you are readying for a Spartan Sprint or an Ultra Beast, be sure to check out the workout programs provided by Dr. Jeff Godin Ph.D., CSCS of Spartan Coaching to get you into peak condition for a Spartan Race near you.

 

Get your daily Spartan WOD in your inbox.

Register for a Spartan Race.

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